When, after an air-conditioned pick up in Ubud, you’re greeted with open arms by a hostess the second you arrive in Canggu, before being offered a cold flannel and a freshly squeezed juice, you know you’re in for a good week. So began my time at Bali’s Bliss Sanctuary for Women in Bali.
A Unique Women’s Only Health Retreat
As soon as I walked through the doors at Bliss, I was surrounded by an air of poise and calm. A short walk from the beach and just a stone’s throw from Bali’s famous rice paddies, the grounds themselves are beautiful, with tropical and verdant gardens and a stunning yoga shala.
Bliss Sanctuary for Women’s biggest and perhaps most unique selling point is that it prides itself on being a retreat for women only, meaning neither couples nor children will be there during your stay. This lends a certain exclusivity to the retreat, and means guests are able to indulge in some distraction-free relaxation as and when they wish.
Offering an endless supply of coconut water, limitless spa treatments, from a variety of different massages to reflexology, crème baths and manicures and pedicures, and as much yoga as guests want to enjoy, Bliss Sanctuary for Women is a life-changing and luxurious experience for all who enter.
So blissful were the days at Bliss Sanctuary for Women, that guests barely need to bat an eyelid. Breakfast starts at 9 – meaning all guests are treated to a well-deserved lie-in, before sitting down to a freshly prepared meal. Treatments are booked in the previous night and guests are not only able to set aside as much time as they wish to indulge in some serious relaxation, but they can also choose whether to have said treatments poolside, in the comfort of their own room or in the tranquillity of the retreat’s yoga shala.
The rooms are a sanctuary of serenity. Housed in traditional Balinese villas, stepping through the traditional teak carved doors was my Sleep Sanctuary. A large, air-conditioned room leading directly out to the garden, it was beautifully decorated with cloud-like beds and scented with incense sticks, candles and a lavender-scented diffuser. All of which makes for a comfortable night’s sleep and a relaxing haven to return to at the end of every day.
Balinese Food with a Healthy Twist
The food at Bliss Sanctuary for Women makes it a dream destination for anyone with an appetite for fresh, delicious and healthy food. From a constant source of fresh fruit in the fridge to a secret supply of chocolate should you be so inclined, everything is taken care of.
Breakfast was a leisurely affair made up of anything from scrambled eggs to banana pancakes, all served with fresh melon juice and seasonal fruit, while lunch could be had either by the pool, in your room or in the communal living area. As someone who often sticks to things they love, I opted for the grilled prawns with vegetables and grated coconut most days but also tried the tuna steak and salt and pepper prawns; all of which confirmed Bliss Sanctuary for Women’s ability to make nutritious and delicious food a core part of the retreat.
Dinner took place around 7.30 every evening and offered guests a chance to interact with each other over plates of tasty food. From stunning seafood barbecues to Balinese inspired treats, there was a real focus was on balance, and the food was certainly a highlight of the stay.
Bespoke Fitness Programs
The package I chose included cross-fit sessions at S2S as well as yoga at nearby Desa Seni. As something of an early bird, I opted for the sunrise yoga at Desa Seni, before sitting down to a relaxing breakfast and then heading off for a seriously sweaty cross-fit session. Prior to my three sessions at S2S, my trainer discussed my goals and fitness levels with me, before devising a plan for the next three days. From deadlifts to pull-ups and the dreaded burpees, I was put through my pace each morning, spurred on by my trainer’s encouragement and safe in the knowledge that I could spend the rest of the day doing nothing more energetic than moving from poolside to yoga shala for a massage.
Daily Spa Treatments
On the day that I arrived, I was lucky enough to have been booked in for three hours of treatments that very afternoon, and spent much of my lazy hour by the pool reading through the spa menu before deciding on which treatments to have; it’s a hard life, I know! All therapists at Bliss Sanctuary for Women are trained across all treatments, meaning that once the hostess has set aside the hours you wish to spend luxuriating under the hands of a therapist, the choice is still yours as to exactly how you wish to spend the time. The massages – aromatherapy, hot stone, Balinese or Thai – each last ninety minutes and are sure to leave you feeling appropriately blissed-out, while the facial and cream bath offers the perfect solution for skin and hair that may have been slightly frazzled by the Balinese sun.
On my first day, I opted for the aromatherapy massage followed by a facial and some reflexology; suffice it to say that by the end of my three hours I was wandering around the resort in something of a dream-like state. In the name of research, I was sure to try each of the treatments at least once during my time at Bliss Sanctuary for Women, and while they all offered something different, my firm favourites were the aromatherapy massage and the reflexology. The Joy of Bliss Sanctuary for Women, however, is that you simply don’t have to choose; should you wish to have five different treatments a day, you can do just that.
Perhaps the best thing about Bliss Sanctuary for Women, is the unity it provides between guests. Whether alone or with a friend, all guests sit down to dinner together meaning that friendships are soon formed and by the end of the retreat the hostesses are more like friends and confidants.
Truly the ultimate haven of pure and unadulterated delight, Bliss Sanctuary for Women certainly does what it says on the tin. If you want an unequivocally indulgent time in beautiful surroundings with like-minded women and not a single distraction in sight, Bliss Sanctuary for Women will deliver just that and more.
Bliss Sanctuary for Women, Bali
Tibubeneng, North Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
The Fit Traveller was a guest of Bliss Sanctuary for Women for this stay. As always, the opinions, words and images are authentically our own.
Lucy Pearson is a certified bookworm, wanderluster and a qualified yoga teacher with a thirst for adventure and love for life.
Lucy has her own blog, The Unlikely Bookworm and also contributes to Stylist Magazine and Hip and Healthy.